PokerSpoils Newsletter

Enter your email address below so I can send you exclusive promotions that I am not allowed to advertise on this website!


Popular Pages

Ten Things you Should Know About Playing Heads Up Poker

Heads up poker may well be the most entertaining form of poker available on the web. The one on one excitement puts your skills to the test in a revealing manner. Below is our list of ten things you must know about playing heads up poker. Hopefully this list will help you get in the green and stay there.

  1. You can play a much wider array of starting hands. This means hands containing an ace become much more playable since the odds of your opponent having an ace are slim, and the odds of your opponent having you out kicked are even slimmer. Most hands are determined by psychology and not by your actual hand.

  2. Opponents tilt easier. I can’t tell you how many times people have lost their cool and started insulting me in the chat box. It is almost becoming a new strategy to attempt to suck out on an opponent just to get him or her on tilt. It’s a dirty strategy, but winning is winning.

  3. Reading your opponent is easy. Simply watch what kind of hands they raise with and what hands they call with. After 10-20 hands you can usually get a feel for this style of player. Do they fold a lot? If so watch out when they start to raise.

  4. Folding is ok. By all means try to see every flop possible and make aggressive bets. Just remember that when your opponent calls a strong bet, they probably have a good hand. If you can stand it you might be better off laying down your junk hand if you were just trying to buy the pot.

  5. Bluffing is easier. Watch your opponent limp in and then raise when three diamonds come out. Most likely he’ll throw his hand away and you win. These “mini bluffs” can help you get some chips that you can then use to chase a draw, catch it, and cause your opponent to tilt.

  6. Using Sharkscope really helps. Look up your opponent’s poker stats. See how much they lose. More often than not you will find yourself playing against a total donk in super-tilt mode. This helps when planning your strategy against this opponent. More often than not smart play can cause your opponents to beat themselves.

  7. Adapt to survive. After putting a read on your opponent you should adapt to his or her style of play to beat their game. If they are a calling station, bluff less. If they fold a lot, give them plenty of opportunities to do so (raise frequently).

  8. Being aggressive is good (cliché, I know). As lame as it is to always say to be aggressive in heads up poker, it really works. Taking charge of the game and always being on the offensive can cause your opponent to make poor decisions out of desperation. You will win more small pots and gain a chip advantage, which you can then use to put your opponent all in when you hit a good hand. Force them to make a decision for all of their chips.

  9. Mix up your play to gain an edge. Don’t let your opponent put a read on you. Make wacky calls from time to time. Raise with crappy hands. Keep them guessing. The whole time you are trying to get a read on your opponent, they will be doing the same to you. Make it as difficult as possible.

  10. Play in your comfort zone to stay focused. If you feel awkward playing $50 heads up matches, then drop down to a level you can deal with. Play in relation with your bankroll. You don’t want to wipe it out on just a few bad matches. Remember that bad players exist at all levels, and don’t think that raising the stakes will keep the amateur players away. It’s all relative.

More from the "Ten Things You Should Know..." Series